Doodseskader return with their signature sound of industrial sludge via electronic rap. A unique sound that could have more variation to really showcase the versatility of the genres they focus on.

Release date: March 8, 2024 | Independent | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

Every once in a while you come across an album as a professionally amateur, unpaid, but very handsome online music reviewer that boggles your brain. You are so internally divided on it that you don’t know whether something is good or not good. Listen through after listen through you can’t put your finger on what it is that is equally awesome and meh. While trying to plan out this exact review I felt like that Always Sunny meme where Charlie Day is wildly exacerbated in front of a cork board.

So let’s start somewhere easy. This is the second album, aptly named Year Two, from Belgian duo, Doodseskader. The band, for those who don’t know, is made up of Amenra bassist Tim de Gieter and Kapitan Korsakov drummer Sigfried Burroughs.

Woohoo. That was easy.  Now this is where it gets a bit weird. Both individuals have played an assortment of musical styles over the years, including sludge, rap, electronic, and hardcore. Now to both musicians involved it probably made sense to find a way to combine these genres together, even if it doesn’t sound like a winning formula on paper.

I first came across Doodseskader with their first album, Year One. I remember reading the description of the band and being perplexed but interested enough to check it out. For the most part it was an industrial sludge album with electronic sections tying it altogether. Vocal performances leaned more into the realm of deep guttural and feral screams with odd moments of sung/spoken section and rapped verses.

Year Two is similar, but also a further development of that sound. There is a more heavily electronic and industrial feel to this album. Weighty breakdowns and crushing bass lines are still there but they are sparser in comparison. Doodseskader also employs more rapping and softer, monotone sung parts. It adds a bit more variety to their sound than was first shown on Year One.

If you wonder whether this is an album worth checking out, I’d say at least give “Pastel Prison”, the album opener, a listen. This will give you a general sense of whether Year Two is an album that will do it for you. Mechanical drums, a simple bass line and some moody, clean spoken vocals build up to effect ridden and vicious screams. It’s a combination that the duo lean on heavily throughout Year Two, but one that is effective all the same. There is a certain sincerity to the track that is juxtaposed by the grittiness and mechanical elements of the second half.

The overarching theme of this album is a duo who are able to Frankenstein together various genres and make them work well together. This affords Doodseskader, I think, a very unique sound, albeit one that is created by combining some very familiar sounds. There is something weirdly nostalgic about their music. It’s the combination of slightly cringe rap with industrial sludge and dark electro beats that makes them a distant cousin of nü metal. In fact, I can’t help but think that if the stars align and we are all misfortunate enough, someone in Hollywood will decide to remake Queen of the Damned. If that happens, the only way I get on board is if Doodseskader make the soundtrack.

There are glimpses of industrial that harkens images of a world run by organic machines, like on “The Sheer Horror of the Human Condition”. Some songs, like “Innocence (An Offering)” take you to the glory days of heart-on-your-sleeve nu metal grooves. We also get glimpses of horror rap mixed with sludgy hardcore breakdowns, like on the fantastic “Bone Pipe”.

My main gripe is that once I’ve enjoyed the first four songs on the album, the next 20 minutes were, at times, a slog to get through. The downtempo, slightly grunge-y melancholic sections before going into downtempo sludge becomes a repetitive trope that pays off the first time but doesn’t cut it every time. I found myself listening to a song, zoning our for a bit and then coming back wondering whether the song had ended or we had moved on to a new one.

With that said, there is plenty to enjoy here if you can see past some repetitive sections of this album. This might not be a release that gets me thinking that Doodseskader have finessed the melding of the genres that they’ve brought together here. Far from it. I think future albums will offer listeners further variety as their sound develops.

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